For the last two weeks I have been obsessed with working though a business model that will sustain itself for the next 50 years. I see myself as an entrpreneur, an investor, and a business man. One of the questions I have been asking myself is: What do I want my business card to say in 50 years? There are two main options that I see:
- I carry around 20 business cards. One for every parternship and business that I am involved in running. (I currently participate in operating 3 and am partial owner of an additional 2)
- I carry one business card that represents an umbrella company that every business functions under.
Let’s back up because I think I’m getting ahead of myself. The reason why I have been successful in business ventures thus far is because I have been successful in partnerships. Understanding my strengths and limitations has gone a long way in being able to understand what I can contribute to any business model and what I need to fill the gaps. For the last 5 years I have had the same primary business partner and while stumbling into this partnership was pretty much an accident, the impact that it has had has by far been the single biggest contributing factor to my success. I think I will limit this post to addressing this question:
- As an individual your business will always reflect your weaknesses and energy level. Having (a) Partner(s) will limit the weaknesses of the model and limit the liability of “low energy” in seasons or sectors.
- Having partners increases your network of assets. One person may know 20 people. Two people may know 40. Sometimes getting a job dones requires finding the 1 in 80.
- Having partners allows you to focus on what you are good at. If two partners are working on two separate tasks and one partner is good and the big picture tasks and one the small each partner can cross tasks to maximize their strengths.
All of the above lead me to one conclusion:
Having business partners allows me to exponentially maximize the resources that I have been given.
These are some projections:
Number of business I could run:
On my Own: 1 maybe 2
Me with 1 Partner: 3-4
Me with 2 Partners: 5-7
Me with 3 Partners: 8-12
Me with 4 Partners: 12-20
With 4 people we will max out at an average of 5 businesses per person as opposed to the 2 businesses per person on my own.
My Purpose in Business: To use the gifts and resources God has given me to expand his Kingdom.
There are two ways we will do this:
- By aggressively using our gifting to grow and expand to the fullest of our potential.
- By strategically diversifying to minimize exposure and risk.
Why be aggressive?
In the parable of the talents Jesus warns his followers about the consequences of not maximizing the resources that you have been given. The predominant standard of business motivation is to pay your bills and prepare for retirement. I think that our standard should not be based upon a culturally static measurement but on maximizing our potential based upon the resources (financial and other) that we have been given. Strategic partnerships can be one of those resources.
In the next post I will look at how you select a business partner, how many to have and why?